Agency to launch Durian platform

Agency to launch Durian platform

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) is set to launch a digital marketing platform next June to bolster the local e-commerce ecosystem.

Dubbed Durian, the startup company is a bid to help local e-commerce keep pace with global platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Thailand's e-commerce market is forecast to reach 5.6 trillion baht by 2020, up from 2.8 trillion this year.

Surangkana Wayuparb, chief executive of the ETDA, said Thailand was ranked by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as Southeast Asia's largest e-commerce trade nation in business-to-consumer (B2C) activity in 2016 with a value of some 700 billion baht, outpacing Indonesia's e-commerce market.

The government is fully accelerating digital infrastructure development and integrating different state agencies and private sectors, as well as improving the transformation from physical trading to the global e-commerce marketplace.

On promoting the e-commerce ecosystem, the EDTA chief said the plan should not cover just online merchants and products, sales, payment system, laws or even tax, but also include digital content business and digital marketing channels.

"Digital marketing via digital platforms such as video-sharing sites or social media is a powerful tool that impacts the success or failure of e-commerce," Mrs Surangkana said.

Durian is expected to serve all e-commerce activities via video-sharing websites and social media usage.

Mrs Surangkana said many Thai e-commerce and digital businesses have high revenue-sharing advertising costs when they run business promotion activities via global digital platforms like YouTube. The ETDA hopes Durian will serve as an attractive channel in the long term, in line with the national e-commerce strategy roadmap.

"We [the ETDA] used the name Durian because it is Thailand's most famed fruit and reflects the brand image of the region," she said.

The ETDA chief said the agency is gathering information on digital content, digital marketing and digital services in the country to include in its annual report and survey, which will be released starting in 2018.

The aim is to better illustrate movements and trends in the e-commerce market when the ETDA announces the report and survey results.

"It is hard to see a clear picture if we follow the e-commerce ecosystem development while overlooking the importance of digital content business and digital marketing," Mrs Surangkana said.

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